Earlier this week, we talked about what managers can do to reduce their employees’ stress levels. But what if you’re one of not one of these managers’ employees? (Or you’re a manager dealing with a lot of stress yourself?) Are there any tactics you can use to reduce, manage or otherwise tame the stress you feel?
Absolutely. No matter what your role is within your staffing company, you can manage yourself to reduce your stress. Here are some ways to do that:
- Accentuate the positive: Look at the positive side of yourself, your work and your life as often as possible. Laugh at yourself every chance you get, and try to keep a sense of humor and perspective about your challenges.
- Control what you can, release what you can’t: Plan for events you know will be stressful, such as presentations or client meetings; rehearse these situations in your mind until you feel more in control of them. And recognize that you can only control your own behavior, not the behavior of others.
- Remember that you have a body: Stress causes us to “live in our minds,” so it’s extra-helpful to treat our bodies well when we’re under stress. Find a form of exercise you enjoy and do it regularly (even for really short periods when you’re under a time crunch). Get lots of water. Take regular “walk-around” breaks; don’t just sit in front of your computer for hours on end. And if possible, try to get outside in the fresh air and sunlight on some of these breaks.
- You’re a social animal: We all need the support of other people, possibly even more so when we’re under stress. Spend some time each day talking to a loved one who listens to you and buoys your spirits, even if it’s over the phone. And when you get a chance, “pay it forward” by supporting others and volunteering. Not only does volunteering help those in need, it can help you put your stress in perspective.
- Manage your time, manage your stress: If traffic or tardiness is amping up your stress, try to leave a little earlier each day to get to work. Similarly, build in a little time at the end of each day to list your to-dos for the next day. And don’t overschedule yourself; allow some blank spots in your calendar as a cushion.
- Let it be: Understand that while your to-do list may be infinite, your time and energy aren’t. Maybe there are some tasks that can be done by someone else (delegate) or that don’t really need to be done at all (delete). And don’t forget to take time throughout the day to breathe deeply and center yourself.
And if you’re feeling stress because your software is siloing your data, or you have to enter applications manually rather than having them automatically entered online, you might ask your manager to consider switching to COATSsql software, and taking advantage of some of our value-added options. Here’s our contact information, if you’d like to pass it along.
What types of stress management strategies have you found that work? (And, for that matter, that don’t?) Let us know in the comments!